What is our primary use case?
The primary use case for us was to virtualize a small data center of about 30 guests. We use it for our Active Directory and Exchange servers. The solution has worked well.
We're not yet using VMware Cloud on AWS or vSphere's built-in security features.
How has it helped my organization?
Going from a purely physical environment before, we have seen a performance value boost. It also gives us greater flexibility and it allows us to adapt to our environment much more quickly than a standard hardware solution would.
What is most valuable?
The most valuable features are the simplicity and ease of use for, a small IT department like ours. It's simple and efficient to manage.
What needs improvement?
I would like to see continued support of the HTML5-based utilities.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
It's been very stable for us.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
We have a pretty static environment but, for our needs, it has been very good.
How is customer service and technical support?
We have had to use technical support a couple of times. It has been very good, a very good experience.
How was the initial setup?
We had outside help from a partner, but the initial setup was pretty straightforward.
What was our ROI?
We're a small, privately held company, so ROI is not something we concentrate a lot on. But just from the surface appearance, it has really helped us.
What other advice do I have?
Make use of the resources that are there. That's something we failed on when we first started. We started out thinking, "We're going to go with this company for storage, we're going to use Vsphere, etc.," and we just went in with a partner. As I went further along, I learned that there were a lot of built-in resources that I really didn't know I had access to. That was a bit tough.
When selecting a vendor, the most important criterion for us, being a smaller IT department, is the support. Also, to a certain extent, the name is important, because when you're a small department you don't have the opportunity to evaluate as many companies as you'd like to. Sometimes you end up going with the main name brand. When you're a small shop, you need all the help you can get.
I rate vSphere a solid nine out of ten, especially since, with 6.5 and beyond, it has matured and it's full-fledged. It's tough to think of anything I'd want to add to it at this point. I would have rated vSphere 5.5 as an eight out of ten, so it feels like 6.5 is a progression towards ten. There's really no feature that I can explicitly name that would make it a ten. They just need to make more progress, have more stability, and continued simplicity.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.